Pimp an old laptop into a surveillance system with Skype.

A couple of days ago I got a second hand 7 inch EEE-Pc as a gift from a friend. Its a cool little system and I was looking for an interesting way of putting it to good use. Of course our “Return of the Netbook” podcast brought many an idea to mind, but I wanted something different. Instead of using it as a workstation, I thought that a little bit of “Server Side technology” would come into good use. The thing is pretty small, consumes no power whatsoever and can do some cool things should you want it to.

Turn it into an “on demand” Nannycam. : One of the simplest alternatives is to install Skype on it and turn it into a Nannycam. 

  • Install Skype.
  • Create a separate account for the laptop
  • Set up the laptop to automatically send video.
  • Add your Skype account to the friends list.
  • Configure : Auto-answer to have the laptop “pick up” whenever you call it using your account.
  • Mute the speakers on your laptop.
  • ( Or follow this guide

This is by far the easiest and most cross-platform friendly solution for your old netbook that will help you get some use out of the old baby. Make sure to tweak your security settings on Skype so the laptop won’t accept calls or chats from people outside the contact list. (and just to make sure , cover the webcam with a post-it note when you want to be sure nobody is watching.

What would you use as surveillance software ? Tell us in the comments section.

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